Coastal weeds biologically filter sewage of local shrimp farm

In May 2021, after two years of planning and with a small budget of 30.000 € only, the first-of-a-kind installation of a saline sewage treatment plant was recently finalized. Saltwater-tolerant herbs and weeds have been planted by volunteers into rocky and sandy substrate on top of an elaborate airing- system, so the nutrient-loaded waste water of the neighboring shrimp farm may pass both a physical and a biological filtration process. After a separator and various layers of natural solids, rare, healthy and ecologically valuable weeds like seakale grow efficiently on the surface of this “plant purification plant”, where the pre-filtered sewage water is reused to form a hydroponic circuit. By doing so, the experienced biologists Martina Mühl (Coastal Research & Management) and Dr. Ulf Schauser (N.A.T. Environmental Engineering) of the Blue Bioeconomy project HaFF will demonstrate, how terrestrial aquaculture can be executed in a very sustainable way without over-fertilizing the oceans. The saline weeds may soon become harvested and sold as Novel Foods or extracted for pharmaceutical use.

The blue bioeconomy innovation cluster Bioeconomy at Marine Sites (BaMS) combines the leading research organizations, as well as innovative companies and influencers of the blue bioeconomy value chain in Northern Germany. The members of the cluster represent the most relevant parts of the supply chain, encompassing primary production of aquatic biomass (fisheries, aquaculture, fish, algae and others) as well as processing, finishing and side-streams. The cluster thrives to implement aquatic circular economy business models, making fully sustainable use of aquatic biomass, embracing the use of nutrient-rich emissions from other sectors and unlocking the carbon-capture potential of aquatic biomass. The cluster supports its members with project funding, development of model- and demonstration sites on industrial scale and implementation activities to support the sustainable growth of the business sector.


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